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What is a Comedone Extractor?

By Ken Black
Updated May 21, 2024
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A comedone extractor is a tool used to remove blemishes, such as blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads. Often, those who are afflicted with these common skin conditions are hesitant to remove the blemishes because they are afraid of scarring, which can happen under some circumstances. An extractor tool is not much bigger than a pair of tweezers and is said to make removal easier, without as much risk of creating scars.

The tool has one or two looped ends, with one of them usually ending in a sharper point. In most cases, the extractor can be used to remove some surface pimples, but blemishes located deeper should be left alone due to risk of infection and scarring. The comedone extractor uses the looped end to apply pressure to all areas of the pimple. This is different than the finger squeeze method, which centers pressure on one point.

While it may be possible to use the comedone extractor by itself, with very little preparation, it is not recommended. Instead, the directions usually call for the skin to be exposed to steam for a few minutes, which helps open up the skin pores a little more. Caution should be taken during this step, simply because there is a potential of getting burned, depending on how hot the water is.

The steaming can be done in a couple of different ways. The most convenient way may be just to take a warm to hot shower, where the steam will come up and cover the face. The other way is to boil water over a stove and allow the steam to hit the face. Either method may be equally as effective and will properly prepare the skin.

Once the face has been steamed, the pores should be sufficiently loosened and the pimple should be ready to be extracted. To do so, the loop end of the comedone extractor is placed around the pimple. Then, gradual but steadily-increasing pressure is placed on the blemish. The contents, including the head itself and the pus inside, should all easily come out. If it does not easily come out, the user should not force it.

There are many companies offering different varieties of extractors on the market, most of which are generally inexpensive. They are also usually available in the cosmetics or skin care area of retail stores selling those types of products. For those having trouble finding them locally, they are also available at multiple merchants online.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By galen84basc — On Aug 20, 2010

@copperpipe -- You can use a comedone extractor on closed comedones, but it can be a little tricky the first time.

What you have to do with a closed comedone is to steam your face, like you would if you were going to extract a blackhead.

Then take a sterile lancet and gently open the skin above the closed comedone. Some of the professional comedone extractors come with lancets on one end, but if you use one like that, then make sure it's sterile.

Then you gently push on the comedone with the loop of your comedone extractor, like you would for removing a regular blackhead.

If it still doesn't come out, you can try to open it a little more with the lancet, but don't push it too far -- you don't want to cause a scar.

By CopperPipe — On Aug 20, 2010

Can you use a comedone extractor for closed comedones? I tried to remove one the other day with a blackhead extractor, but I couldn't seem to make any progress.

I know that my aesthetician can do it though, so can anybody tell me how to do this, or if I even can do this at home?

By naturesgurl3 — On Aug 20, 2010

This may sound really gross, but I am addicted to my blackhead remover. It just feels so good to get all of that nastiness out of my face. And I can tell you, the more you use it, the more you can control it and remove the blackheads quickly and painlessly.

I am glad that this article had instructions on how to use a comedone extractor though -- it is really important to not force the blackhead or pimple to try and come out, otherwise, you can end up causing scarring.

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